Are we alone in the Solar System? Whether we're able to answer the question with a resounding yes or no is still a flabbergasting concept. If we are – and even extremophiles are nowhere to be found in our solar neighbourhood – then where does that leave us in the hunt for life in planetary systems beyond ours? If we aren't alone, then there's myriad questions to be answered: what's this newly uncovered lifeform like? Are we able to communicate with it? Could we live together in the Solar System without us contaminating its world while we go about our studies of its planet or moon? As you'll discover on page 16, scientists from NASA, ESA and elsewhere have some thoughts about that – what's more, they've pinpointed the destinations on our side of the galaxy where life is likely to exist and how we're going to go about sniffing them out.
If you've always wanted to discover a comet, see a star explode before everyone else, find an exoplanet or uncover a new asteroid, then you're in luck: astronomers who have done just that have shared their secrets, tips and tricks in making that groundbreaking discovery from your back garden.
Looking for your next piece of kit? Don't forget to take advantage of our fantastic new offer where we're giving away free Kepler GL 10x50 binoculars when you subscribe to the magazine. Head to page 34!
InSight is due to launch on 5 May and will reveal more about Mars‘ interior